Help maintain quality fish numbers in Virginia with proper catch and release practices

Outdoors Bound

Largemouth Bass

(WFXR) — When it comes to fishing, catch and release is encouraged as a way to help conserve a variety of species.  Though most fish in Virginia are managed for harvest and taking a few home to enjoy as a meal with friends and family is encouraged, it’s still a good idea to safely return most of the fish we catch to the water.

The operative term in that last sentence is “safely.”

Mishandling a fish while returning it to the water can jeopardize its health.  The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources has developed guidelines for getting fish back into the water safely so that they may be caught again, and so that they may be able to sustain quality numbers.

George Noleff with a typical SML striper

Here are a few tips:

  • Always wet your hands before handling a fish.
  • Use a net where possible.
  • Photograph your catch and then return it to the water as quickly as possible.

Following some simple guidelines can help conserve our valuable fisheries for years to come.

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